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Gay not buying Powell's pressure release story

13 August 2008

By Gary Smith

American World sprint double champion Tyson Gay says he is not buying into the burden relief story of Asafa Powell.

Earlier this season, Powell commented that he was happy that fellow countryman Usain Bolt had released the pressure off of him by breaking his world record with a sizzling run of 9.72 seconds in May.

The bold statement has certainly been evident in Powell's recent performances, but Gay is believing otherwise.

"Him (Powell) saying Usain Bolt has taken the pressure off him, I don't buy into that too much," Gay was quoted as saying.

"Asafa Powell had the world record, Usain Bolt has the world record and that is something Powell held close to him, very dearly."

Powell has virtually made the world record his own in the last two years and Gay thinks the world bronze medallist is under some pressure to not only regain his title, but to also win the Olympic crown.

"I think he is under a little pressure to get the record back for himself, his country, his family and his friends. I think he is also under a lot of pressure to win the gold medal and that's a fact.

Gay, who chased down Powell at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan, last year, also believes record holder Bolt is under pressure to deliver for Jamaica in Beijing.

"I would assume there is a lot of pressure (on Bolt), regardless what anybody says, the people in his country and in other countries are expecting him to come out with that gold medal," the American champion, who is backing his abilities to win perhaps the fastest 100m dash in Olympic history, said.

"Normally the fastest guy in the world, the world record holder would be the favourite, but I don't really mind if people say I am the favourite or I am the underdog because it is all about just handling the pressure."

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